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  • Anti-stress law moves step closer in Germany

    08/28/2014 12:23:00 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 20 replies
    TheLocal.de ^ | 26 Aug 2014 14:47 CET
    Germany’s Labor Minister Andrea Nahles has given her backing to an anti-stress law, announcing a study into workers’ mental health on Tuesday. Nahles told the Rheinische Post newspaper that she had commissioned the Federal Institute for Health and Safety at Work to come up with a report on the feasibility of a possible law to protect workers from stress caused by smartphones and constant contact with their bosses. “There is an undeniable link between having to be constantly available [for work] and the rise in mental illnesses,” she said, but she added it would be a challenge to implement any...
  • Marijuana should stay illegal, young Europeans say

    08/27/2014 8:56:58 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 22 replies
    EU Observer ^ | 22.08.14 @ 12:40 | Benjamin Fox
    A narrow majority of Europe’s youth would ban cannabis, according to new research published by Eurobarometer. Opinion was divided on whether cannabis should be banned. Forty-five percent believed that it should be regulated, while 53 percent felt it should be banned. Meanwhile, more than 90 percent of respondents added that hard drugs such as heroin, cocaine and ecstasy should be illegal. Eurobarometer interviewed more than 13,000 15-24 year olds across the bloc in June for the survey, which was released on Thursday (21 August). It focused on levels of drug use, perceived risk of certain substances, as well as opinions...
  • Russians, Chinese keen to buy EU passports from Malta

    08/27/2014 8:52:48 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 3 replies
    EU Observer ^ | 26.08.14 @ 08:30 | Andrew Rettman
    Russians, Chinese, and people from the Middle East have shown the most interest in Malta’s sale of EU passports so far. A spokeswoman for Henley & Partners, the British firm handling the controversial passport scheme, told EUobserver that “over 200” people from 30 different nationalities have applied since it got up and running in early 2014. She added that: “The main geographic areas from which applicants originate are the MENA [Middle East and north Africa] region, Russia, China, and South East Asia”. She also said the well-heeled applicants will bring in more than €200 million in foreign investment to the...
  • EU summit only to decide Van Rompuy and Ashton successors

    08/27/2014 8:37:43 AM PDT · by Olog-hai
    EurActiv ^ | 27/08/2014 - 16:20
    The extraordinary EU summit on 30 August, which was expected to put together “the full puzzle” of the EU top jobs for the next five years, will only decide on the successors of Council President Herman Van Rompuy, and EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton, sources told EurActiv today (26 August). Jean-Claude Juncker, the Commission President-elect, is reported to be convinced that it is not possible to decide on the composition of the future Commission before leaders decide who will succeed Van Rompuy and Ashton. If the summit decides on the two top jobs, it is expected that Juncker would...
  • IMF chief Lagarde under investigation in France

    08/27/2014 8:03:12 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 10 replies
    Associated Press ^ | Aug 27, 2014 10:13 AM EDT | Lori Hinnant
    Christine Lagarde, the chief of the International Monetary Fund, was placed under official investigation for negligence in a French corruption probe that dates back to her days as France’s finance minister. In a statement Wednesday after a fourth round of questioning before magistrates, Lagarde said she would return to her work in Washington later in the day and said the decision was “without basis.” She is the third IMF managing director in a decade to face legal troubles. …
  • Germany plans to tighten EU migration rules

    08/27/2014 7:59:33 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 14 replies
    Associated Press ^ | Aug 27, 2014 9:14 AM EDT
    The German government proposed measures Wednesday to tighten migration regulations for citizens from elsewhere in the European Union amid accusations of welfare abuse by poor immigrants from Bulgaria and Romania. Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Cabinet was proposing a six-month limit on EU citizens staying in the country, which is Europe’s biggest economy, without a job. In addition, he said EU citizens suspected of having abused Germany’s welfare system can be banned from re-entering the country. “Freedom of movement is an essential part of the European integration, which we fully stand behind,” de Maiziere told reporters...
  • UK: Rotherham child abuse scandal: 1,400 children exploited, report finds (ROP alert)

    08/26/2014 7:23:36 AM PDT · by knighthawk · 36 replies
    BBC ^ | August 26 2014
    At least 1,400 children were subjected to "appalling" sexual exploitation in Rotherham between 1997 and 2013, a report has found. Children as young as 11 were raped by multiple perpetrators, abducted, trafficked to other cities in England, beaten and intimidated it said. The report, commissioned by Rotherham Borough Council in 2013, revealed there had been three previous inquiries.
  • Report: EU countries set out new vision for Gaza

    08/25/2014 1:33:43 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 13 replies
    EU Observer ^ | 22.08.14 @ 09:24 | Andrew Rettman
    France, Germany, and the UK have circulated a draft UN resolution on the Gaza conflict designed to end the rule of Hamas in return for Israel lifting its seven-year blockade of the Strip. The text, entitled “Elements”, was circulated in New York earlier this week and leaked on Thursday (21 August) to Israeli daily Haaretz. According to the newspaper, the resolution calls for Hamas, a militant group which advocates armed resistance against Israel, to hand over power to the Palestinian Authority, which is prepared to recognize Israel in return for the creation of a Palestinian state. It also calls for...
  • Merkel: Ukraine can go to Eurasian Union (i.e. Putin’s new USSR)

    08/25/2014 1:26:25 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 23 replies
    EU Observer ^ | 25.08.14 @ 13:25 | Valentina Pop and Andrew Rettman
    Germany’s Angela Merkel has said Ukraine is free to “go to” Russia’s “Eurasian Union”, amid signs of a new willingness to make peace with Russian leader Vladimir Putin. Speaking to German public broadcaster ARD on Sunday (24 August), the German chancellor said her visit to Kiev on Saturday was designed to prepare for peace talks between Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko and Putin in Minsk on Tuesday, but warned the public not to expect a “breakthrough”. She mentioned Ukrainian “decentralization”, a deal on gas prices, and Ukraine’s “trade relations” with Russia as elements that could bring about an accord. “And if...
  • Germans could pay for EU unemployed

    08/25/2014 12:55:52 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 26 replies
    TheLocal.de ^ | Published: 25 Aug 2014 13:20 CET
    Germans could foot the bill for unemployment benefits in other European countries under an EU plan to tax the union’s richest states.László Andor, EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, set out his proposal in June in Berlin to share the burden of unemployment benefits among EU countries. The plan is now “not far from the table”, CDU politician and MEP Herbert Reul told Welt newspaper on Monday. Andor claims that in a time of economic downturn, this concept could stabilize and revive struggling economies. He told the Welt on Monday that his plan would not replace countries’ unemployment...
  • French government dissolved amid turmoil

    08/25/2014 3:03:19 AM PDT · by NautiNurse · 70 replies
    CNN ^ | August 25,2014 | Jethro Mullen
    <p>The French government was dissolved Monday amid turmoil among top ministers.</p> <p>President Francois Hollande asked Prime Minister Manuel Valls to form a new government, which will be announced Tuesday...</p> <p>"The crisis in the heart of the government is clear, and it promises to be bloody," reported Le Figaro, a right-leaning national newspaper.</p>
  • Baltic Fears: NATO Debates Directing Missile Shield against Russia

    08/25/2014 3:19:29 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 10 replies
    Der Spiegel ^ | August 25, 2014 – 11:16 AM
    NATO officials are considering deploying a long-planned missile defense system—aimed at protecting Europe from attacks from the Middle East—against Russia as well, Spiegel has learned. Calls for such an expansion to the system’s remit, which is backed by the United States, are growing in Poland as well as in NATO member states Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia. […] But the majority of NATO members, especially Germany, are opposed to the proposal, warning that it could result in an unnecessary provocation of Moscow. …
  • Ukraine rebel leader claims French 'experts' joining separatists

    08/24/2014 1:52:20 PM PDT · by Tailgunner Joe · 6 replies
    expatica.com ^ | August 28, 2014
    The president of the self-declared pro-Russian People's Republic of Donetsk claimed on Sunday French military "experts" were joining separatist forces battling government troops in eastern Ukraine. "Tomorrow, we will receive officers from France. They are specialists ready to fight with us," Alexandre Zakhartchenko said at a Sunday press conference. However, he gave no details on the French servicemen, nor did he specify their numbers. There are also "Serbs and Swiss" among the pro-Moscow militants who are fighting for "European and socialist ideals", Zakhartchenko claimed.
  • EU exit could force Wall Street banks to desert Britain

    08/22/2014 1:51:28 PM PDT · by Berlin_Freeper · 11 replies
    telegraph.co.uk ^ | 18 Aug 2014 | Bill Gardner
    Wall Street banks could desert Britain if the country decides to leave the European Union, senior figures in the industry have reportedly said. Some major institutions are believed to be already drawing up plans to move activities abroad amid concerns that the UK is drifting further away from the EU. Most US and Asian banks currently run their main European operations from the UK, which gives them a passport to provide services across the EU. But if the UK left the European Union, it is believed to be unlikely foreign banks based in London would carry on receiving the same...
  • EU ban on powerful vacuum cleaners prompts anger and legal challenge

    08/22/2014 12:27:08 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 47 replies
    Manchester Guardian ^ | Thursday 21 August 2014 14.58 EDT | Rebecca Smith, consumer affairs correspondent
    Consumers are being urged to buy powerful vacuum cleaners while they can after it emerged that some of the most powerful models on the market will disappear in September when a new EU rule comes into force. An EU energy label, to be introduced from 1 September, means manufacturers will not be able to make or import vacuum cleaners with a motor that exceeds 1,600 watts.The Which? consumer group said many of its Best Buy models had motor sizes that exceeded this, “so if you’re in the market for a powerful vacuum, you should act quickly, before all of the...
  • Germany debates role of Bundestag in approving arms shipments to Iraq

    08/22/2014 10:59:01 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 4 replies
    EurActiv ^ | 22/08/2014 - 08:08 | (EurActiv.de with Reuters)
    Iraqi Kurds have welcomed the German government’s expressed willingness to supply weapons in the fight against violent Islamists. Speaking on Deutschlandfunk radio on Thursday (21 August), Deputy Prime Minister of Iraq Rodsch Schawais said arms assistance should come as quickly as possible. The Kurdish leader addressed fears that German weapons could end up in the wrong hands or later be used in a possible conflict for an independent Kurdistan. This question is not relevant right now, he said. At the moment it is important to stop the advance of the extremist Islamic State (IS), Schawais explained. […] But the government’s...
  • Germany Is Telling Ukraine To Back Off Crushing Pro-Russian Rebels Or Else Putin Will Get Mad

    08/22/2014 10:10:56 AM PDT · by wetphoenix · 16 replies
    Business Insider ^ | NOAH BARKIN AND RICHARD BALMFORTH
    BERLIN/KIEV (Reuters) - After months of ratcheting up pressure on Vladimir Putin, concern is mounting in Berlin and other European capitals that an emboldened Ukraine's military successes in the east are reducing the chances of a face-saving way out of the crisis for the Russian leader. As a result, the focus of German-led diplomatic efforts has shifted, according to senior officials, towards urging restraint from Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and averting a humiliating defeat for pro-Russian rebels, a development that Berlin fears could elicit a strong response from Putin. Chancellor Angela Merkel's planned visit to Kiev on Saturday, her first...
  • Hunt for German neo-Nazis was ‘complete disaster’ (Thuringia)

    08/21/2014 12:35:02 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 9 replies
    Associated Press ^ | Aug 21, 2014 1:38 PM EDT | Frank Jordans
    Police and security services in Germany’s eastern state of Thuringia bungled the hunt for three neo-Nazis, who years later turned out to be the main suspects in a far-right murder spree, according to an official report published Thursday. A panel of lawmakers in the state assembly examined thousands of case files and interviewed dozens of former investigators, concluding that efforts to find the fugitive trio between 1998 and 2003 were a “complete disaster.” “In the best case, the comprehensive failure of many of those involved resulted from simple lack of interest,” the panel said in its 1,895-page report. But so...
  • EU justice chief criticizes Google on ‘right to be forgotten’

    08/21/2014 3:22:54 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 4 replies
    EU Observer ^ | 19.08.14 @ 09:30 | Benjamin Fox
    The EU’s justice commissioner has accused internet giant Google of leading a campaign to shoot down data protection reforms. Speaking in Lyon, France on Monday (18 August), the commissioner, Martine Reicherts, said: “Google and other affected companies who complain loudly” about a recent EU court verdict on personal data are “detractors … attempting to throw a new spanner in the works”. The Luxembourg-based EU court in May ruled that Google must remove links to any content that is “inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant” or face a fine.The ruling was based on the bloc’s 1995 data protection law, which are...
  • Merkel sets limits to NATO solidarity with Baltic states

    08/21/2014 3:16:54 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 3 replies
    EU Observer ^ | 19.08.14 @ 09:21 | Andrew Rettman
    German chancellor Angela Merkel has said NATO will defend Baltic states if need be, but will not build permanent military bases in the region. She spoke on Monday (18 August) on a visit to Riga in which she also laid a wreath at the Freedom Monument, a memorial to the Latvian War of Independence against Russia in 1918. “I want to stress that … Article V of the NATO contract—the duty to provide mutual support—is not something which just exists on paper, but is also something which must be filled with life”, she told press after meeting Latvian prime minister...
  • Dying town centers seek the miracle cure (Germany)

    08/21/2014 1:34:28 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 7 replies
    TheLocal.de ^ | 20 Aug 2014 15:50 GMT+02:00 | Tomas Urbina
    Home to two thirds of Germany’s population, many of its small cities and towns are struggling to revive their declining centers. […] Big box stores on their outskirts, online shops and the proximity of larger, better serviced cities have all eaten away at the share of the retail market available to businesses that once thrived in smaller towns, says the expert in trade and retail at Niederrhein University. In Delmenhorst, it’s a perfect storm. The retiree Bieler has watched big retail chains like Kik and Kaufland set up and thrive on the outskirts. And he’s seen how people gravitated more...
  • Carlsberg lowers profit outlook on fall in Russian sales

    08/20/2014 2:43:09 AM PDT · by wetphoenix · 3 replies
    Copenhagen (AFP) - Danish brewer Carlsberg cut its annual profit guidance on Wednesday and said economic uncertainty in Russia, its biggest market, could prompt it to close some breweries. Clouds over the outlook in some parts of eastern Europe had cut consumption of beer, the company said. "Due to the recent macro events the consumer sentiment and the outlook for some of the economies in eastern Europe are becoming increasingly challenging and uncertain," the company said in its quarterly earnings statement. "Consequently, we believe that the beer category will deteriorate further in the second half of the year," it added....
  • German journalists arrested in Ferguson

    08/20/2014 12:45:09 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 5 replies
    TheLocal.de ^ | 19 Aug 2014 11:39 GMT+02:00
    Ansgar Graw and Frank Hermann were cuffed and jailed for three hours the day after arriving in the beleaguered suburb of St. Louis. […] The journalists had wanted to take pictures of a burned out gas station on Florissant Avenue, the street at the center of the week-long protest. […] “We felt there were no threats, everything is completely peaceful, and we said that we would stay on and take the photos we wanted,” Graw wrote. Then a young police officer says: “Okay, but only if you keep moving. The moment you stay standing, you’ll be arrested. That’s the last...
  • Hungary eyes Russia's 'illiberal' model

    08/18/2014 8:53:51 PM PDT · by wetphoenix · 7 replies
    Aljazeera ^ | 18 Aug 2014 12:41 | Kristina Jovanovski
    Hungary has increasingly courted and won favour with Russia, while rejecting the core values of the European Union. Budapest, Hungary - As the West holds its breath waiting to see if Russia will intervene in Ukraine, there is one country looking to Moscow for inspiration: Hungary. In a speech in late July, Prime Minister Viktor Orban said he wanted to turn Hungary into an "illiberal state" and used Russia as a model example. "We want to build a workfare society ... which is willing to bear the odium to declare that it is not liberal in character," said Orban, adding...
  • Outrage over gossip mag’s free gay joke book (Italy)

    08/18/2014 1:04:15 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 9 replies
    TheLocal,it ^ | 18 Aug 2014 11:45 GMT+02:00
    An Italian gossip magazine has sparked outrage after its latest edition was released with a free book containing jokes about gay people. The controversial giveaway, entitled “The Best Gay Jokes”, was attached to the latest edition of the weekly Italian gossip magazine Visto, La Stampa reported. Published in 2012 and ordinarily priced at €4.99, the book is part of a joke book series which also includes sexist jokes and jokes about Jews by Jews, among other taboo subjects. …
  • Rant over veil on beach sparks furore in France

    08/18/2014 12:49:11 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 21 replies
    TheLocal.fr ^ | 18 Aug 2014 18:00 GMT+02:00 | Joshua Melvin
    A French politician was so upset after seeing a Muslim woman sitting on a French beach fully clothed and in a headscarf that she decided to take a picture and write a provocative opinion piece on Facebook. In her rant former minister Nadine Morano, from the UMP party, said Muslims should go elsewhere if they don’t want to integrate. The former French deputy used a picture of former sex icon Brigitte Bardot alongside that of the veiled woman on the beach to make her point that France has a proud history of women being free to dress how they wish....
  • Israel to Stop Exports of 'Settlement Products' to EU

    08/17/2014 6:09:53 PM PDT · by Eleutheria5 · 16 replies
    Arutz Sheva ^ | 18/8/14 | Elad Benari
    Israel will end its export of poultry and dairy produce to the European Union from Jewish communities beyond the Green Line, Israeli and European officials said on Sunday, according to AFP. The restrictions stem from directives issued by the European Commission in February and affect chicken and milk products from communities in eastern Jerusalem, the Golan Heights and Judea and Samaria. "In keeping with previous decisions, the EU no longer recognized the authority of the veterinary inspections services of Israel to approve the export of poultry and (dairy products), the origin of which are in settlements," a European official told...
  • German secret agents 'eavesdropped on phone calls' by Hillary Clinton and John Kerry

    08/16/2014 3:09:50 PM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 32 replies
    Telegraph ^ | 08/16/2014 | By Joanna Walters
    German secret agents intercepted one of Hillary Clinton's phone calls while she was US secretary of state and also listened in to a call by John Kerry, her successor, it emerged this weekend, in an embarrassing reversal of the spying scandal that blew up when it was revealed last year that America bugged Angela Merkel's mobile phone. Mrs Clinton was on a US government plane when German intelligence services overheard her call and, against their own internal protocol, stored it, intelligence sources told German media. The intercepted phone call took place in 2012 between Mrs Clinton and Kofi Annan, the...
  • EU Offers to Take Charge of Gaza Border Crossings

    08/16/2014 10:00:00 AM PDT · by DeoVindiceSicSemperTyrannis · 15 replies
    Arutz Sheva ^ | 8-16-14 | Elad Benari, Canada
    The European Union (EU) on Friday offered to take charge of Gaza's border crossings and work to prevent illegal arms flows, according to The Associated Press (AP). The EU is prepared "to play a strong role" in managing the crossings while assuring that Israel's security is guaranteed, said the 28-nation bloc's foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton. The EU offered to reactivate and extend its monitoring of the Rafiah crossing with Egypt and other border posts, provided there will be a UN Security Council mandate for the mission and a sustainable cease-fire in place, according to AP. In addition, the EU...
  • German secret service ‘spied on Clinton’: report (i.e. Hillary while SecState)

    08/16/2014 1:54:07 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 15 replies
    TheLocal.de ^ | 16 Aug 2014 10:03 GMT+02:00 | (AFP)
    The German secret service listened in on at least one of Hillary Clinton’s telephone calls when she was US secretary of state, German media reported Friday. The Süddeutsche Zeitung (SZ) daily and regional public broadcasters NDR and WDR said documents passed to the CIA by one of its moles inside German intelligence show it eavesdropped on Clinton while she was on a US government plane. […] According to the reports, the Clinton intercept was “not an isolated case”, with the German government apparently giving permission for “spying on a NATO partner”, although it was unclear which of its allies was...
  • Seeing Iraq horror, Europe reconsiders reluctance

    08/15/2014 4:14:26 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 10 replies
    Associated Press ^ | Aug 15, 2014 5:54 AM EDT | Lori Hinnant and Juergen Baetz
    France’s decision this week to arm Kurdish fighters in the battle against Islamic militants marked a turning point in Europe’s wavering stance on Iraq, with an EU emergency meeting on Friday seeking to forge a unified response to the Sunni insurgents’ advance. The 2003 U.S.-led Iraq invasion created a bitter rift across the European Union and the bloc has since been loath to get involved in the country, but the militants in Iraq and Syria who threaten to reshape the Middle East have raised the stakes by drawing more than 1,500 European radicals to their ranks. After weeks of near-silence...
  • GE in talks to sell historic appliance division

    08/14/2014 4:19:02 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 42 replies
    Associated Press ^ | Aug 14, 2014 4:20 PM EDT | Jonathan Fahey
    General Electric confirmed that it is considering the sale of its historic appliance division, part of its effort to focus on selling more complex and profitable industrial equipment. The confirmation came after the Swedish appliance maker Electrolux released a statement Thursday that it was in discussions to buy the business from GE, which is based in Fairfield, Connecticut. …
  • Steinmeier considers weapons exports to Iraq (Germany foreign minister)

    08/14/2014 6:52:26 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 1 replies
    TheLocal.de ^ | 14 Aug 2014 11:16 GMT+02:00 | (DPA/The Local)
    The conflict against religious minorities in Iraq has more officials speaking out in support of exporting arms to the marginalized groups. “As long as the threat is holding, I will not rule out the option that [Germany] will also deliver weapons,” Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier told the evening news program Heutejournal on Wednesday night. “The brutality of the terrorist militia Islamic State (IS) could make it necessary.” Steinmeier voiced his options despite opposition from his own party, the center-left Social Democrats (SPD), which principally bans the sales of arms into conflict zones. …
  • Rising number of French struggle to pay taxes

    08/13/2014 8:33:38 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 26 replies
    TheLocal.fr ^ | 12 Aug 2014 17:07 GMT+02:00 | Sam Ball
    France has seen an explosion in the number of households requesting a deferral or cancellation of part or all of their tax bill in recent years. The country’s public finance body, the DGFiP, says there was a 22% rise in the number of such requests between 2011 and 2013, from around 177,000 to more than 216,000. Over the same period, the number of reminders for payment sent out by the French government has soared from 4.5 million to nearly 10 million. …
  • France’s speed cameras see earnings plummet

    08/13/2014 8:29:21 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 18 replies
    TheLocal.fr ^ | 13 Aug 2014 12:32 GMT+02:00
    France’s army of roadside speed cameras may be more numerous than ever, but the revenue they pulled in through fines was almost €70 million less than the government expected last year. […] French newspaper Les Echos reported that the 4,150 speed cameras that litter the country’s roads yielded €579,300 last year. While that sounds a healthy amount to be taking out of the pockets of speeding motorists, it was less than in 2012, when rogue drivers boosted state coffers to the tune of €620 million. […] What makes it worse for the government, whose finances seem to be Europe’s biggest...
  • Dutch Official Suspended for Saying ISIS is ‘Zionist Plot’

    08/13/2014 8:08:04 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 16 replies
    INN ^ | 8/14/2014, 5:14 AM | Elad Benari
    A project management official at the Dutch National Cyber Security Center has been suspended after tweeting that the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), now known as the Islamic State (IS), was a “Zionist plot”. According to the English-language NL Times website the employee, Yasmina Haifi, wrote, “ISIS has nothing to do with Islam. It is a preconceived plan of Zionists who want to deliberately make Islam look bad.” […] In an interview with the local Radio 1 on Wednesday, Haifi said she will not take back her statements, saying she has the right to speak her mind....
  • European court condemns UK again over prisoner vote ban

    08/12/2014 7:44:41 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 18 replies
    EUbusiness ^ | 12 August 2014, 12:42 CET | (AFP)
    The European Court of Human Rights condemned Britain once again on Tuesday for banning prisoners from voting, while ruling that inmates who challenged the ban were not entitled to any compensation. The Strasbourg court recognized moves to change the law in Britain, but said the blanket ban remained and was still in breach of the right to free elections enshrined in the European Convention of Human Rights. The case was brought by 10 prisoners who were automatically banned from voting in elections to the European Parliament in 2009 because of their incarceration. …
  • EU urges Gibraltar, Spain to probe cigarette smuggling

    08/12/2014 7:36:52 AM PDT · by Olog-hai
    EU Business News ^ | 11 August 2014, 21:45 CET | (AFP)
    The EU’s anti-fraud office on Monday urged Gibraltar and Spain to launch legal action after it found signs that organized crime was behind a rise in cigarette smuggling in southern Spain. The European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) made the recommendation after completing a probe it launched in August 2013 at the request of Madrid into a sharp rise in cigarette smuggling across the border between Gibraltar and Spain between 2009 and 2013. […] Widespread cigarette smuggling between the tiny, low-tax British territory of Gibraltar to Spain is a major irritant in their frayed diplomatic relations. …
  • (European Union) e-Democracy entrepreneur: ‘Online voting will boom in coming years’

    08/12/2014 7:19:47 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 6 replies
    EurActiv ^ | 08/01/2014
    More and more governments are introducing tools to have citizens vote electronically and via the internet in elections. The next step, according to the e-democracy entrepreneur, Antonio Mugica, is creating tools for people to engage with lawmakers on a daily basis. Antonio Mugica is the CEO of Smartmatic, a London-based company working in the field of electronic voting and internet voting. …
  • Russia push into Ukraine ‘unacceptable’: Germany

    08/11/2014 12:45:45 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 10 replies
    TheLocal.de ^ | 10 Aug 2014 09:52 GMT+02:00 | (AFP)
    Russian intervention in Ukraine, including for expressed humanitarian purposes is “unacceptable” without Kiev’s authorization, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and her US counterpart Barack Obama agreed in a telephone call Saturday. Such a move “violates international law, and will provoke additional consequences,” the White House said in a statement afterwards, referencing the numerous economic sanctions already in place against Moscow. …
  • Glover: EU chief scientist should stay in the shadows

    08/11/2014 12:17:52 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 1 replies
    EurActiv ^ | 08/06/2014
    Anne Glover, the EU’s Chief Scientific Advisor, has said that her opinions to the European Commission should remain independent from politics and therefore “not transparent” and immune from public scrutiny. The incoming Commission chief, Jean-Claude Juncker, is considering to maintain her position after Barroso leaves, EurActiv understands. […] “Why is it not transparent? Because if it is transparent, then everybody will try to defend their position. And I’m not interested in that, I’m interested in getting the best evidence possible.” …
  • Germany, France, Britain propose EU mission to open Gaza crossing

    08/10/2014 11:14:26 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 13 replies
    Reuters ^ | Wed Aug 6, 2014 1:51pm EDT | (Sabine Siebold, Maggie Fick)
    Germany, France and Britain have proposed reactivating a European Union mission on the Egypt-Gaza border to help stabilize the Palestinian enclave after a month-long war, a German diplomatic source said on Wednesday. […] Egypt, which was not involved in the negotiation of the 2005 agreement, has repeatedly shut the Rafah border over the past year, significantly increasing pressure on Gazans, who already face a rigid land and sea blockade imposed by Israel. […] Egypt wants any discussion over Rafah to take place bilaterally with the Palestinian Authority, rather than as part of any deal between the Palestinians and Israel to...
  • It’s official: Last EU election had lowest-ever turnout

    08/10/2014 11:00:13 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 3 replies
    EurActiv ^ | 08/07/2014
    The May 2014 EU election saw the lowest voter turnout on record, according to updated figures discreetly released by the European Parliament during the summer holiday period for EU institutions. The updated numbers, published on the Parliament website, show that turnout struggled to reach 42.54% in 2014, well below the 43.1% initially announced. Diplomatic pencils will be being snapped in despair at the lowest public enthusiasm for an EU poll since 1979, when elections were first held. The tweaked figures will also come as an embarrassment for EU officials who had hailed the results of the 2014 poll for finally...
  • 1 in 4 plagiarized tech goods made in Germany

    08/08/2014 5:33:04 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 1 replies
    TheLocal.de ^ | 08 Aug 2014 16:45 GMT+02:00 | (DDP/The Local)
    German companies are ranked second in the world for industrial plagiarism, a global study released on Friday found. Just under a quarter of all plagiarized technical products examined were sold by a German company, the study by the Federation of German Machine and Equipment Builders (VDMA) has found. Germany was behind China, but ahead of Turkey and India in terms of the number of copies sold. Most German firms involved in plagiarism targeted competitors in the high-tech sector, in contrast to Chinese manufacturers, which usually copied low-quality goods. …
  • German approval for Gaza mission

    08/07/2014 10:58:05 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 13 replies
    Deutsche Welle ^ | 08/07/2014 | Mathias Bölinger / Nina Haase
    Politicians from various parties can imagine Germany participating in a mission to control the Rafah checkpoint between the Gaza Strip and Egypt. “I personally believe that it’s our duty, and that we must not turn a blind eye to what’s going on,” said Reinhold Robbe, the chairman of the German-Israeli community and a former parliamentary commissioner for the armed forces. “Germany has a special responsibility because of its history.” […] “Together with our European partners, we are ready to make a contribution, for example with an EU monitoring mission of the border crossing,” (Foreign Affairs minister Frank-Walter) Steinmeier told Bild....
  • Islam ‘does not belong in German society’: poll

    08/07/2014 5:36:26 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 13 replies
    TheLocal.de ^ | 07 Aug 2014 08:05 GMT+02:00 | Tom Barfield
    A majority of Germans have rejected former President Christian Wulff’s famous statement that “Islam is now also a part of Germany”, with 52 percent against the idea. Just 44 percent of people surveyed by the Forsa opinion institute for Stern magazine agreed with the former head of state that Islam was part of Germany. However, a second question asking how people thought Germany should deal with hostility to Muslims found that 53 percent of people believed that it should be treated as seriously as anti-Semitism. …
  • Israel Asks Germans, EU to Monitor Gaza Border

    08/07/2014 9:36:17 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 14 replies
    INN ^ | 8/7/2014, 11:57 AM | (AFP)
    Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman has called for EU “inspectors” to monitor Gaza’s borders amid efforts to extend a ceasefire, in a German newspaper interview published Thursday. “Not police or soldiers. But Germany and the EU must dispatch inspectors to Gaza to monitor the Palestinians’ trade with the neighboring countries,” Liberman told the mass-circulation Bild daily in comments published in German. “The EU already did that once at a crossing in Rafah in the south of Gaza,” he said. …
  • Canada-EU free trade deal may pave way for US agreement

    08/06/2014 10:38:43 PM PDT · by Berlin_Freeper · 1 replies
    bbc.com ^ | 6 August 2014 | BBC
    Canada and the European Union have agreed the final text for a free trade agreement that could provide a blueprint for a US-EU trade deal. Tuesday's deal will cut tariffs between Canada and the EU by 98% and could boost trade by 20%, or about $20bn.
  • Swedish Politician Quits Following Anti-Semitic Facebook Post (religion of peace again)

    08/06/2014 9:38:28 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 4 replies
    INN ^ | 8/7/2014, 5:45 AM | Elad Benari
    A Swedish politician resigned following sharp criticism after he wrote on Facebook that “Jewish pigs” are responsible for mass murders in Gaza, according to the English language Swedish website The Local.Omar Omeirat, Social Democrat candidate for the town council of Filipstad, central Sweden, gave a speech in the town on Friday evening advocating diversity and openness. On Saturday he sang a very different tune. “The entire Muslim world is sitting and watching while our brothers and sisters in Palestine are slaughtered by the Jewish pigs,” Omeritat wrote on his Facebook page, according to The Local. “May Allah strengthen those who...
  • Spain halts weapons sales to Israel

    08/05/2014 5:22:37 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 13 replies
    Times of Israel ^ | August 5, 2014, 2:37 pm | (Times of Israel Staff)
    Spain temporarily halted all arms sales to Israel in the wake of the IDF’s operation against Hamas in the Gaza Strip, the Spanish daily El Pais reported Tuesday. The move will be reviewed in September, and is considered to be largely symbolic. Spain sold Israel €4.9 million ($6.56 million) worth of arms in 2013, including vehicle parts, ATVs, grenade fuses, and optical systems. …